The 2021 federal election provides all political parties with an opportunity to unlock the door to homeownership. They can play a key role by supporting policies that will improve housing affordability. This is your opportunity to pay attention to platform measures that will affect homeownership and renting.

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) has been engaging with the government and all parties to inform party policies and platforms as it pertains to housing affordability, advocating its importance and the critical need for the federal government to address it. While all party platforms have not yet been released, it is clear from party announcements thus far that the message has been received, as housing policy is being featured extensively through the initial days of the campaign.

Below is a high-level summary of how each major national party is responding to some of those recommendations in their platforms.

Note: this page is best viewed on a desktop.

CHBA’S RECOMMENDATION: Increase Market-Rate Housing Supply – to improve affordability, stabilize prices, and take pressure off other parts of the housing continuum

  1. Make a commitment to address market-rate housing supply and affordability (not to be confused with social/affordable housing, which is also important, but a different issue).
Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP Logo
Adopted AdoptedNot Adopted
What it has proposed: Build, preserve, or repair 1.4 million homes in the next four years:

-This includes building or revitalizing an additional 250,000 homes per year over four years.

– Challenge the country’s largest cities to accelerate their housing plans, creating a target of 100,000 new middle-class homes by 2024-25.

– Convert empty office space into housing by doubling existing commitment to $600 million.

– Help generations of families live together by introducing the Multi-generational Home Renovation tax credit to support families looking to add a secondary unit to their homes, to allow a family member to live with them.
What it has proposed: Build 1 million homes in the next three years through:

– Tying municipal funding to requirements for density near transit

– Releasing as least 15% of federal real estate portfolio for housing

– Incenting developers to build rental housing through deferred capital gains

– Exploring converting unneeded office space to housing

– Encourage foreign investment in purpose-built rental housing [rather than purchasing home] that is affordable to Canadians
Rating = 5Rating = 5Rating = 0
How to get to a five-homes rating: Make a specific commitment in platform to build market-rate homes (NDP platform is currently only about social/affordable housing supply)

2. Take a leadership role and support actions (including those by provincial and municipal governments) that address challenges to construction of market-rate housing supply such as zoning restrictions, density limits, and NIMBYism.

Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP Logo
AdoptedPartially AdoptedNot Adopted
What it has proposed: Make $4 billion available through a Housing Accelerator Fund to challenge the country’s largest cities to accelerate their housing plans, creating a target of 100,000 new middle-class homes by 2024-25 by offering support to grow housing faster than their historical average; increase densification; speed-up approval times; tackle NIMBYism and establish inclusionary zoning bylaws.What it has proposed: Require municipalities receiving federal funding for public transit to increase density near the funded transit.
Rating = 4Rating = 2Rating = 0
How to get to a five-homes rating: efforts listed to accelerate development are good, but where inclusionary zoning is considered, ensure any such actions do not increase the cost for buyers of market-rate housingHow to get to a five-homes rating: Transit-oriented development is indeed important (and a good use of infrastructure $s leverage – see below), but also commit to working with the provinces and municipalities to address full suite of challenges to construction of market-rate housing. How to get to a five-homes rating: Currently, NDP platform only commits to working with provinces and municipalities on social housing – action is required to address full suite of challenges related to construction of market-rate housing.

3. Ensure that federal government infrastructure funding for provinces and municipalities is used to support actions that incent new market-rate housing supply.

Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP Logo
AdoptedAdoptedNot Adopted
What it has proposed: Through the Housing Accelerator Fund, encourage public transit-oriented development, support a wide-range of eligible municipal investments, including red tape reduction efforts, and reward cities and communities that build more homes, faster.What it has proposed: Leverage federal infrastructure investments to increase housing supply. Build public transit infrastructure that connects homes and jobs by bringing public transit to where people are buying homes; and require municipalities receiving federal funding for public transit to increase density near the funded transit.
Rating = 4Rating = 3Rating = 0
How to get a five-homes rating: ensure inclusionary zoning does not increase cost for buyers of market-rate housing units.How to get a five-homes rating: Transit-oriented development is indeed important (and a good use of infrastructure dollars leverage – see below), but also commit to working with the provinces and municipalities to address full suite of challenges to construction of market-rate housing.How to get to a five-homes rating: Recognize that federal infrastructure funding to provinces and municipalities is an effective way to incent more market-rate housing supply.

CHBA’S RECOMMENDATION: Make access to homeownership fairer and more affordable now and for future generations

  1. Reintroduce 30-year amortizations for insured mortgages for well-qualified first-time buyers.
Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP Logo
Equivalent AdoptedNot AdoptedAdopted
What it has proposed: Make the First Time Home Buyer Incentive more flexible to give Canadians the option of a deferred mortgage loan, as an alternative to the current shared equity model, and reduce their monthly mortgage costs [CHBA note: this is basically equivalent to a 30-year amortization period for entry-level housing]What it has proposed: Re-introduce 30-year terms to CMHC insured mortgages on entry-level homes for first time home buyers. This will allow for smaller monthly payments, freeing up funds to help make ends meet for young families.
Rating = 4Rating = 0Rating = 5
How to get a five-homes rating: expand eligibility for loan option to include all well-qualified first-time buyers.How to get to a five-homes rating: Support the re-introduction of 30-year mortgage amortizations for well-qualified first-time buyers, as the CPC did in the last election campaign.

2. Modify the stress test for both insured and uninsured mortgages to reduce the test rate on a declining basis for 7- and 10-year mortgage terms.

Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP Logo
Not AdoptedAdoptedNot Adopted
What it has proposed:

– Encourage a new market in seven- to ten-year mortgages to provide stability both for first-time home buyers and lenders, opening another secure path to homeownership for Canadians, and reducing the need for mortgage stress tests. Remove the requirement to conduct a stress test when a homeowner renews a mortgage with another lender instead of only when staying with their current lender, as is the case today.

– Fix the mortgage stress test to stop discriminating against small business owners, contractors and other non-permanent employees including casual workers.
Rating = 0Rating = 5Rating = 0
How to get to a five-homes rating: The stress test (for both insured and uninsured mortgages) should be modified to reduce the test rate on a declining basis for 7- and 10-year mortgage terms, given the reduction in risk with longer mortgage terms for both Canadians and the financial system, as encouraged by the Bank of Canada.How to get to a five-homes rating: The stress test (for both insured and uninsured mortgages) should be modified to reduce the test rate on a declining basis for 7- and 10-year mortgage terms, given the reduction in risk with longer mortgage terms for both Canadians and the financial system, as encouraged by the Bank of Canada.

3. Update the Existing GST/HST New Housing Rebate and adjust the thresholds for insured mortgages in high-priced markets.

Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP Logo
Partially AdoptedPartially AdoptedNot Adopted
Government raised the threshold for insured mortgages in Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria prior to the election.What it has proposed: Increase the limit on eligibility for mortgage insurance and index it to home price inflation, allowing those in high-priced real estate markets with less than a 20% down-payment an opportunity at homeownership.
Rating = 2Rating = 2Rating = 0
How to get to a five-homes rating: Update and index the existing GST/HST New Housing Rebate to better reflect house prices. How to get to a five-homes rating: Update and index the existing GST/HST New Housing Rebate to better reflect house prices. In high priced markets, the maximum threshold amount for insured mortgages should also be increased to reflet today’s realities.How to get to a five-homes rating: Make the proposal apply to new market-rate housing to own, and ensure waiving GST applies to all purpose-built rentals. Also recognize the challenges buyers face in the high-priced markets by raising thresholds for insured mortgages.

4. Support housing affordability in other meaningful ways (CHBA has recommended a variety of actions to support affordability in recent times; these below relate accordingly)

Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP Logo
AdoptedNot AddressedPartially Adopted
What it has proposed: 1) Help young Canadians afford a down payment faster by introducing a tax-free First Home Savings Account, which will allow Canadians under 40 to save up to $40,000 toward their first home, and withdraw it tax-free to put toward their purchase.

2) Help Canadians save on closing costs by doubling the First-Time Home Buyers Tax Credit, from $5,000 to $10,000, which will put $1,500 back in the pockets of Canadians.

3) Reduce monthly mortgage costs by reducing the price charged by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation on mortgage insurance by 25 per cent. For a typical person, this will save them $6,100.
What it has proposed: 1) Double the Home Buyer’s Tax Credit to $1,500 to help with closing costs.

2) For Canadians who are open to innovative paths to home ownership, a New Democrat government will provide resources to facilitate co-housing, such as model co-ownership agreements and connections to local resources, and ease access to financing by offering CMHC-backed co-ownership mortgages.
Rating = 5Rating = 0Rating = 1
How to get to a five-homes rating: Recognize the struggles of well-qualified first-time homebuyers to enter the housing market by implementing innovative ways to support affordability.How to get to a five-homes rating: These are small but positive steps towards supporting homeownership.

CHBA’S RECOMMENDATION: Support labour force development and material supply in residential construction

1. Support industry to recruit, train and upskill workers.

Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP Logo
AdoptedAdoptedNot Adopted
What it has proposed:
– New Canadian Apprenticeship Service and other efforts to encourage young people to enter the trades

– Boost the participation of diverse Canadians in the skilled trades.

– Make it easier for women and vulnerable groups to access training by requiring businesses supported through the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program to include wrap-around supports. This could include transportation to and from the training program, computers, food, referral to counselling, housing, and legal support, support in finding child care, and mentoring or coaching.

– Double the Union Training and Innovation program to $50 million a year to support more apprenticeship training opportunities and additional partnerships in the Red Seal trades across Canada, and target more participation from women, Indigenous people, newcomers, persons with disabilities, and Black and racialized Canadians.
What it has proposed:
– Support for not-for-profit organizations to ensure women have the training they need to pursue careers in the trades.

– Double the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit for the next three years to help create more places for apprentices.

– Invest $250 million over two years to create the Canada Job Training Fund. The Fund will provide grants to organizations including employers, apprenticeship training delivery agents, unions, post-secondary institutions, and community organizations for projects that: Give laid-off workers immediate access to training, reach out to traditionally underrepresented groups, support the talent needs of small businesses, and otherwise help workers get the training they need – focussing on areas where there are shortages of skilled workers.

– Create the Working Canadian Training Loan to provide low interest loans of up to $10,000 to people who want to upgrade their skills.

– Developing curriculum for trade schools and institutes that support building design and construction for Net Zero
Rating = 5Rating = 5Rating = 0
How to get to a five-homes rating: Recognize the labour shortages the home construction industry is facing by proposing plans to recruit and train new workers.

2. Make changes to the immigration system to respond better and more quickly to labour shortages in residential construction through permanent immigration solutions.

Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP Logo
AdoptedNot AdoptedNot Adopted
What it has proposed:

– Welcome talented workers to Canada

– Make it easier for workers to connect employers, attract global talent, and provide the training workers and businesses need to succeed.

– Build on the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot and work with employers and communities across Canada to welcome 2,000 skilled refugees to fill labour shortages in in-demand sectors

– Grow and improve the Global Talent Stream program by simplifying permit renewals, upholding the 2-week processing time, and establishing an employer hotline, to allow Canadian companies to attract and hire highly skilled workers.
Rating = 5Rating = 0Rating = 0
How to get to a five-homes rating: Commit to introducing changes to the immigration system to respond better and more quickly to labour shortages in residential construction through permanent immigration solutions.How to get to a five-homes rating: Enhance the selection of immigrants with skilled trades credentials or construction experience to ensure that the residential construction sector will receive its proportionate share of newcomers.

3. Support innovation in productivity for residential construction sector.

Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP Logo
Not AdoptedPartially AdoptedNot Addressed
What it has proposed: Developing initiatives to pilot new technologies and solutions that will lower the cost and speed up the pace of retrofits, particularly residential retrofits.
Rating = 0Rating = 1Rating = 0
How to get to a five-homes rating: Invest in the development of residential construction productivity solutions that focus on improving processes and building practices, helping the sector to build faster, more affordably and more efficiently.How to get to a five-homes rating: Invest in the development of residential construction productivity solutions that focus on improving processes and building practices, helping the sector to build faster, more affordably and more efficiently. How to get to a five-homes rating: Invest in the development of residential construction productivity solutions that focus on improving processes and building practices, helping the sector to build faster, more affordably and more efficiently

CHBA’S RECOMMENDATION: Accelerate achievement of Canada’s other housing-related policy goals (like those related to climate change) by investing in targeted measures that promote affordability.

1. Invest in R&D to find energy efficiency measures that do not reduce affordability. The government should focus on innovation to bring down costs and scale up use before regulation.

Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP Logo
Partially AdoptedAdoptedNot Adopted
What it has proposed: Create a Low-Carbon Building Materials Innovation Hub to work directly with entrepreneurs, municipalities, provinces and territories, and Indigenous governments to ensure Canadian innovations are best positioned to succeed.What it has proposed: Developing initiatives to pilot new technologies and solutions that will lower the cost and speed up the pace of retrofits, particularly residential retrofits.
Rating = 4 Rating = 5Rating = 0
How to get to a five-homes rating: Ensure the Innovation Hub addresses the issue of affordability. How to get to a five-homes rating: Invest in R&D to find energy efficiency measures that do not reduce affordability. Focus on innovation to bring down costs and scale up use first, before regulating excessively high levels of energy performance.

2. Ensure affordability for consumers is an objective when adjusting codes and standards (including elements like energy efficiency) and avoid adding excessive cost.

Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP Logo
Not AdoptedNot AdoptedNot Adopted
Rating = 0Rating = 0 Rating = 0
How to get to a five-homes rating: Ensure affordability for consumers is an objective when adjusting codes and standards (including elements like energy efficiency) and avoid adding excessive cost.How to get to a five-homes rating: Ensure affordability for consumers is an objective when adjusting codes and standards (including elements like energy efficiency) and avoid adding excessive cost. How to get to a five-homes rating: Ensure affordability for consumers is an objective when adjusting codes and standards (including elements like energy efficiency) and avoid adding excessive cost.

3. Provide financial incentives for energy retrofits of the existing housing stock.

Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP Logo
AdoptedPartially AdoptedAdopted
What it has proposed: $1.4B Greener Homes Initiative for energy retrofits of existing housing

– Launch a community-led net-zero homes initiative that supports projects that pursue multiple concurrent retrofits in a community or neighbourhood, to reduce overall costs. This initiative will be modeled on the Dutch “Energiesprong” program.
What it has proposed: Provide an “efficiency concierge” service for homeowners that acts as a one-stop-shop to access programs and information.What it has proposed: Help families make energy efficient improvements to their homes through low-interest loans help save families almost $900 or more per year on home energy costs.
Rating = 5Rating = 1Rating = 2
How to get to a five-homes rating: Provide financial incentives for consumers to retrofit their homes.How to get to a five-homes rating: Provide larger financial incentives for consumers to retrofit their homes.